Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


a contact laxative used before procedures involving the colon; administered orally or by rectal suppository, either as the base or as a complex with tannic acid (bisacodyl tannex).


Alophen, Apo-bisacodyl (CA), Biolax (UK), Bisac-Evac, Biscolax, Carter's Little Pills (CA), Correctol, Dacodyl, Doxidan, Dulcolax, Ex-Lax Ultra, Femilax, Fleet Bisacodyl, Fleet Stimulant Laxative, Gentlax (CA), Laxoberal (UK), Veracolate

Pharmacologic class: Stimulant laxative

Therapeutic class: Laxative

Pregnancy risk category B


Unclear. Thought to stimulate colonic mucosa, producing parasympathetic reflexes that enhance peristalsis and increase water and electrolyte secretion, thereby causing evacuation of colon.


Enema: 0.33 mg/ml, 10 mg/ml

Powder for rectal solution: 1.5 mg bisacodyl and 2.5 g tannic acid

Suppositories (rectal): 5 mg, 10 mg

Tablets (enteric-coated): 5 mg

Indications and dosages

Constipation; bowel cleansing for childbirth, surgery, and endoscopic examination

Adults and children ages 12 and older: 5 to 15 mg P.O. or 10 mg P.R. as a single dose

Children older than age 3: 5 to 10 mg or 0.3 mg/kg P.O. as a single dose

Children ages 2 and older: 5 to 10 mg P.R. as a single dose

Children younger than age 2: 5 mg P.R. as a single dose


• Hypersensitivity to drug

• Intestinal obstruction

• Gastroenteritis

• Appendicitis


Use cautiously in:

• hypersensitivity to tannic acid

• severe cardiovascular disease, anal or rectal fissures

• pregnant or breastfeeding patients.


• Make sure patient swallows tablets whole without chewing.

• Don't give tablets within 1 hour of dairy products or antacids (may break down enteric coating).

• Know that drug should be used only for short periods.

Adverse reactions

CNS: dizziness, syncope

GI: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (with high doses), abdominal pain, burning sensation in rectum (with suppositories), laxative dependence, protein-losing enteropathy

Metabolic: hypokalemia, fluid and electrolyte imbalances, tetany, alkalosis

Musculoskeletal: muscle weakness (with excessive use)


Drug-drug. Antacids: gastric irritation, dyspepsia

Drug-diagnostic tests. Calcium, magnesium, potassium: decreased levels

Phosphate, sodium: increased levels

Drug-food. Dairy products: gastric irritation

Patient monitoring

• Assess stools for frequency and consistency.

• Monitor patient for electrolyte imbalances and dehydration.

Patient teaching

• Instruct patient to swallow (not chew) enteric-coated tablets no sooner than 1 hour before or after ingesting antacids or dairy products. Tell him not to chew tablets.

• Advise patient not to use bisacodyl or other laxatives habitually because this may lead to laxative dependence.

• Suggest other ways to prevent constipation, such as by eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to increase dietary bulk and by drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water daily.

• As appropriate, review all other significant and life-threatening adverse reactions and interactions, especially those related to the drugs, tests, and foods mentioned above.


/bis·ac·o·dyl/ (bis-ak´ah-dil) (bis″ah-ko´dil) a contact laxative, used as the base or as a complex with tannic acid (b. tannex) .


(bĭs-ăk′ə-dĭl, bĭs′ə-kō′dĭl)
An over-the-counter laxative taken by mouth or per rectum to treat constipation.


a cathartic.
indications It is prescribed in the treatment of acute or chronic constipation or for emptying of the bowel before or after surgery or before diagnostic radiographic procedures.
contraindications Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, rectal fissures, ulcerated hemorrhoids, or known hypersensitivity to this drug prohibits its use.
adverse effects Among the more serious adverse reactions are colic, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.


A laxative used to manage constipation, especially in the elderly, as well as neurogenic bowel dysfunction.

Enteric nerve stimulation, increases fluid and salt secretion.


Dulcolax An agent used to manage constipation


A drug used in the treatment of constipation. A brand name is Dulco-Lax.

bisacodyl (bisak´ədil),

n brand names: Dulcolax, Fleet Bisacodyl, Bisacodyl Uniserts, Fleet Laxative;
drug class: laxative, stimulant;
ac-tion: acts directly on intestine by increasing motor activity;
uses: short-term treatment of constipation, and bowel or rectal preparation for surgery or examination.


a diphenylmethane stimulant cathartic.
References in periodicals archive ?
said that the clinical significance of an increase of one CBSM per week was uncertain, and that the use of bisacodyl as a rescue laxative by 50%-60% of study participants confounded the results.
isocarboxazid (Marplan) phenelzine (Nardil) selegiline (Carbex, Eldepryl) tranylcypromine (Pamate) Other Medications bisacodyl (Dulcolax) Stimulant laxative.
Laxatives come in two basic types, stool softeners such as lactulose and bowel stimulants such as bisacodyl or senna.
The 10 most frequently prescribed items in the nursing homes studied Item % of residents % of prescribed prescribed items administered Paracetamol 57 41 Senna/senna combinations 36 74 Bisacodyl 32 44 Temazepam 27 73 Frusemide(a) 26 94 Thioridazine 20 82 Aspirin (low dose)(a) 19 93 Digoxin(a) 18 97 Potassium chloride(a) 14 97 Diazepam 10 56
Hypophosphate enemas may be used serially, followed by bisacodyl suppositories and oral laxatives.
The laxative treatment consisted of a three day cycle: on day 1 the child was given a sodium citrate laxative; a bisacodyl suppository was given after school and in the evening of day 2; and a bisacodyl tablet was given after school and in the evening of day 3.
5% w/v, Eye Oint Ciprofloxacin, Humidifier Disposable for ventilator, Inj Cefotaxim, Inj Erythropoeitin 4000 IU, Inj Hyoscine Butylbromide (Buscopan), Inj Manitol 20% infusion, Inj Methylprednisolone Acetate 80 mg, Inj Paracetamol1gm infusion, Oint Benzyl Nicotinate 2mg + Heparin 50IU, Oint Clotrimazole 15 mg, Paedia Drip 100ml, Respules Levosalbutamol + Ipratropium, Surgical Stapler Remover, Syp Ondensetron, Syp Paracetamol 125mg/5Ml, Tab Amoxycillin 875mg + Clavulanic acid 125mg (1 Gm), Tab Bisacodyl, Tab Carbamazepine 400mg, Tab Doxylamine 10 mg + Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 10 mg, Tab Indapamide 1.
Nonprescription medications for initial therapy include diphenoxylate/atropine and loperamide or other anticholinergics for IBS-D, and bisacodyl, docusate sodium, lactulose, polyethylene glycol 3350 for IBS-C.
bisacodyl [Dulcolax[R]] or magnesium citrate) before the PEG-ES in order to remove the bulk of feces.
Oral bisacodyl (Dulcolax) is effective in doses of 5 mg in the morning for children between 1 and 5 years of age, and 10 mg for older children.
Senna compounds such as Ex-Lax and Senokot and bisacodyl products such as Correctol and Dulcolax are stimulant laxatives.